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The Canon Powershot S500 Digital Elph is a 5 megapixel camera with a 3X optical zoom. The camera has USB capability and a 1.5 inch LCD viewing screen.

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PowerShot digital camera lens won't extend - get an E18 error

when I try to power on my Canon PowerShot digital camera, the lens tries to extend but gets stuck

Instead, the camera just beeps a few times, then displays "E18" on the LCD. the problem remains even if I take out the battery and try again. so the camera doesn't work - it won't let me take pictures anymore.

is my camera now junk? or can I repair it myself, or do I need to send it somewhere for repair?

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Very common problem, thanks.


i have fix this problem may time

some time fault in the lens in focusing area

some time fault in lens controlling ic

some time lens's strip brake


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I just happen to know the answer to this question :) so I will post the info here and hopefully someone may find it of use...

the E18 displayed on the LCD is an error code which means the zoom lens is stuck or obstructed when trying to extend. This is a common problem with many Canon compact digital camera models.

you can read more about this error code and a list of many of the cameras affected on this webpage:

one possible cause for this error condition is something obstructing the tiny geartrain that operates the zoom lens (dirt, sand, etc). It may be possible for you to recover from this error by dismantling the camera and dislodging whatever is obstructing the lens or lens geartrain. Sending the camera in for professional repair will probably cost you more than buying a new camera, so it's worth your while attempting this repair yourself if you're up to it.

several of the Canon digital cameras I've seen are constructed in a similar manner and luckily use screws to hold the case together, allowing for disassembly.

over in the Teardown section here on, I've posted pictures of the steps required to fully disassemble a Canon PowerShot S500 digital camera. Even if you have a different model Canon camera with an E18 error, you may find these photos give you an idea of what's involved in the repair.

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As a bonus, if you accept your own answer you will receive the Researcher badge.


Awesome! Thanks for the info bac. I have an S700 that this happened to long ago and I was able to fix it, but only guessed about the error code until now.


Correction, SD700


Great guide, thanks for cross-linking it here.


thanks guys for the comments. as luck would have it, I now have an old PowerShot A620 also with a stuck lens that needs repair :( If I get around to it I'll dismantle it too and post photos...


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Lens errors are fairly common. Usually it's sand or grit interfering with the lens extension mechanism. Or the camera's been dropped with the lens extended. Or the camera has been powered on, but the lens had been blocked preventing its extension. Or the battery ran down with the lens extended ...

Unfortunately, many cameras that fall prey to this can only be corrected by professional repair. Here are some things that you can do that may correct it, without opening the camera. They only seem to work for less than 40% of the lens errors, but if the camera is out of warranty, and if you're not particularly adept with a screwdriver, they're worth a try.

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